Life As We Know It

I must admit to being a bit lazy on the blogging.  I know that the guides write a nightly dispatch so  I can be a tad lax on mine.  Terrible I know.  But there is a reason.  Communicating from Everest base camp is a pain in the… wallet!!!

Only this morning I finally got connected.  I was so psyched!  I anxiously watched as 70 emails came in.  I couldn’t wait to read them and feel some connection to home and hearth only to learn that just downloading those 70 emails cost me $100.00!

So each word I now write will be precise and informative.  No more messing around.

Wendy Booker 'communicating' from Everest Basecamp

Wendy Booker 'communicating' from Everest Basecamp

We have been at Everest base camp for four days.  I’m not sure if it feels like four days or fourteen but here we are! Life is fairly simple just now since we are trying to grow accustomed  to the thinning air.  Arriving here was very impressive as the camp that had been established weeks prior is amazing.  I am still overwhelmed by the facilities provided and the physical labor that went in to building us such a place.  Yesterday I took a shower.

Okay for most this is not a big deal, at 17,500 feet surrounded by sky, rocks, snow and glaciers it is amazing.  The shower tent has two compartments.  The first compartment has red indoor/outdoor carpeting laid out on crushed stone.  Mind you, none of that stone was crushed a month ago. We have a wicker rack upon which to hang our clothes and towel.  The second inner compartment has a shower head the same carpeting and an on/off switch for the water.  Outside is a small gas heater with a pilot light and if it’s not too windy the pilot light stays on and you get a hot shower.   It was heaven.

As we gain strength we try to do something physical everyday as this enables us to grow stronger at higher altitudes.  Today was ladder training with hiking shoes to climbing boots to boots with crampons.  It all came back to me.

Tomorrow we will head into the lower ice falls and continue with our practice.  Its a nice schedule – work all morning, relax in the afternoon.  I shall enjoy it while it lasts.

Life with a bunch of guys is different.  I find it interesting to be the only female and 7 years older than the next guy.  I’m working on keeping my opinions to myself, trying really hard to fade into the tent background and not have tea shoot out of my mouth when one of them says something ‘off’.   I am using an immense amount of self-control.

Okay nap time!!!   I have two down sleeping bags awaiting me in my tent. The sun is still up so it will be warm in there for the next half hour. Then watch out!  The temperature plummets and I will need to pry myself out of my bags and over to the dining tent.  Time for dinner and more guy talk. Think of all the stories I will have to share upon my return?  Mom is going to be appalled!

Climb On!

Wendy

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About Wendy Booker

In June of 1998, this 55 year old mother of three was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS after experiencing balance problems, blurred vision and numbness on her left side. When first diagnosed, Wendy was devastated. But it took very little time for her to transform anguish into inspiration. She immediately turned her hobby of casual running into a continuous pursuit and has now completed nine marathons.

Mountain climbing became the next conquest. Wendy learned about a team of mountain climbers with Multiple Sclerosis who were attempting to climb Mt. McKinley (Denali) in Alaska. With no previous climbing experience, she dedicated a year to hard training and set off with them in 2002. Although weather conditions prohibited the team from completing, Wendy attempted the summit again in 2004 on her own and she succeeded!

The feeling of accomplishment she experienced propelled her next aspiration: to climb the highest mountain on each continent. Just five years later, Wendy Booker has successfully reached the top of six of The Seven Summits – Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. McKinley, Mt. Elbrus, Mt. Aconcagua, Mt. Vinson Massif and Mt. Kosciuszko. Mt. Everest, the highest mountain on earth, still awaits for 2010.


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